Twitter Skybridge by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Look Up! 6 Spectacular Skybridges Uplifting the Urban Landscape 


The latest edition of “Architizer: The World’s Best Architecture” — a stunning, hardbound book celebrating the most inspiring contemporary architecture from around the globe — is now available. Order your copy today.  

Suspended high above the urban sprawl, skybridges seemingly defy the laws of gravity. These complex feats of engineering offer passage between buildings, supported in their entirety by the structures they connect. In sardine-can cityscapes, floating thoroughfares are the ultimate spatial solution, allowing adjacent edifices to seamlessly merge without needing major redevelopment.

In the dexterous hands of architects, the skybridge is a creative canvas, eliciting architectural intrigue within the vertical mass. This transitory space is transformed into a panoramic viewing platform, an aerial garden and an eatery in the clouds — the sky’s the limit. Look up and discover the most remarkable skybridges elevating urban skylines across the world…

By Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, San Francisco, California

Twitter Skybridge by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Twitter Skybridge by Bohlin Cywinski JacksonWhile small in stature, the impact of this 35-foot-long skybridge is immense. Fusing two commercial buildings in the heart of San Francisco, the glazed intervention creates almost 100,000 square feet of continuous office space for Twitter, now known as X. Shrinking the distance between the two structures unifies the workforce, joining the main dining hall at one end of the thoroughfare with specialty eateries at the other, via a sloped ramp that bridges the differing elevations.

Visually, the skybridge is a striking form amid the city hubbub. Layered sheets of glass are punctuated with modified curtainwall extrusions. As the sun moves throughout the day, shadows and reflections shift in an ever-changing kaleidoscope. Shingled aluminum fins clad the bridge’s underbelly — by night, it looms like a glowing sculpture over passersby below.

By Steven Holl Architects, Beijing, China

Linked Hybrid by Steven Holl Architects Linked Hybrid by Steven Holl ArchitectsRebuking the notion of the residential tower as a linear island, this eight-block development in Beijing carves out spaces of horizontal connection amid the verticality. The complex was envisaged as a city within a city. The ground floor offers a loop of public amenities, from boutique stores and a restaurant to a kindergarten and hotel, joined by outdoor passageways. The same loop is ingeniously mirrored across the upper levels.

Forming a lattice of sorts, a series of skybridges crisscross the upper floors of the volumes, their undersides colored with vibrant hues inspired by ancient temples. More than mere passing places, these structures house a swimming pool, fitness facilities, a café and a gallery. They become rich epicenters of social collision, disrupting the stacked anonymity of the high-rise.

By OV-A, Prague, Czechia

Connecting Footbridges UCT Prague by OV-A Connecting Footbridges UCT Prague by OV-AThese two parallel glass skybridges are modern iterations of historic plans that never came to fruition. The original design from 1936 proposed linking the edifices of the University of Chemistry and Technology with two arched brick bridges. However, the sleek, contemporary realizations hover above the bustling road, leaving the 13-foot public route below unobstructed.

Inspired by the institution they connect, the bridges are defined by their multi-faceted crystalline forms, a nod to the molecular structures found in organic chemistry. Thermally insulated glazing is braced by an intricate steel structure — inside, the intersections of the geometric struts frame viewing windows, capturing snapshots of Prague’s breathtaking topography.

By Safdie Architects, Bishan, Singapore

Sky Habitat by Safdie Architects Sky Habitat by Safdie ArchitectsRising high above the skyline of Singapore in the city’s Bishan neighborhood, these dual residential towers balance a need for high-density accommodation with valuable public space. Stepped like architectural mountain peaks, the two volumes are united by three skybridges or floating ‘streets’. Where traditional rise-high typologies might position amenities at the foot of a complex, here, they’re dispersed across these elevated walkways, increasing residents’ proximity to communal facilities.

Framed by diagrids of steel trusses, the lower two bridges are hanging gardens of sorts, peppered with verdant landscaping, trees and relaxed, outdoor seating. The highest bridge features an infinity pool, flanked by a timber sun deck. From the water, glass balustrades unfurl panoramic vistas to passing swimmers.

By SHoP Architects, Manhattan, New York

American Copper Buildings by SHoP Architects American Copper Buildings by SHoP ArchitectsThese remarkable twin high-rises have become defining monoliths in the glittering cityscape of Manhattan’s East Side. Negotiating the site’s tight footprint restrictions, the dual edifices are linked by a skybridge. In a marked departure from the perpendicular skyline, the residential towers seemingly lean into one another, as though the bridge has its own gravitational pull.

Reading as a graphic, oversized gateway, the structures encompass a public thoroughfare at ground level, which provides access to a new park on the riverfront. Across the towers’ respective 41 and 48 floors, the development accommodates some 761 residential units, organized into a bustling, elongated enclave. Amenities including communal lounges and a lap pool are situated up on the bridge level. The elevated structure is a meeting place that cinches the towers’ residents together, both socially and architecturally.

By Safdie Architects, Chongqing, China

Popular Winner, 9th Annual A+Awards, Commercial – Mixed Use

The Crystal by Safdie Architects The Crystal by Safdie ArchitectsWell-versed in conjuring up inventive, large-scale urban projects, Safdie Architects sought to find a solution to the pitfalls of the high-rise — notably, the social disconnect that occurs when our neighborhoods shift from horizontal to vertical. It’s a problem that’s innovatively addressed by this intervention to a mixed-use complex in southwestern China. Six of the development’s towers, which span residential, commercial and hospitality spheres, have been threaded together with a futuristic, 918-foot skybridge.

Forging an astonishing urban street in the sky, the aerial expanse features a public observatory, indoor gardens, eateries, leisure facilities, event spaces and a clubhouse. The connectivity historically enjoyed at ground level has been recreated in the clouds, imparting a new-found intimacy to the site. The skybridge anchors this burgeoning ecosystem in the age-old principle of the neighborhood: community.

The latest edition of “Architizer: The World’s Best Architecture” — a stunning, hardbound book celebrating the most inspiring contemporary architecture from around the globe — is now available. Order your copy today.  



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